Aichi E13A (Jake) Naval Reconnaissance Floatplane Aircraft
The Aichi E13A Jake became the most important floatplane for the Japanese Navy in World War Two.
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Based on number alone, the Aichi production E13A series of floatplanes (dubbed "Jake" by the Allies) was the most important such aircraft type for the Japanese Navy during the Second World War. The system was fielded in quantity in the early 1940's and were charged with reconnoitering the American Navy based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, prior to the infamous December 7th attack. A tremendous design with durability and endurance to boot, the E13A would serve through the end of the war, notoriously in Kamikaze attacks on advancing American naval convoys.
The E13A was a three-crew low-monoplane aircraft with pontoons fitted in place of traditional landing gear systems. The initial need for the floatplane stemmed from a Japanese naval requirement for a new floatplane to replace the aging Kawanishi E7K2 series. As such, offers to the Aichi, Kawanishi and Nakajima aircraft firms were made to promote a competitive trial. At the end, only a Aichi and Kawanishi design remained, with the Aichi design getting the go ahead. A prototype was then produced and ordered into production after 1940.